Date:Saturday February 15 2014
So its all gotten very exciting in the title race since I last contributed, especially if you are a Chelsea fan. We're top of the League, in the CL knock-out rounds, mugging off Arsene Wenger etc...
The scent of love has been replaced by one of revenge as we draw closer to our FA cup showdown with the blue half of Manchester. Obviously Mourinho has done his talking, Pellegrini has done his best impression of a track-suited lion and Yaya Toure has once again escaped police action for common assault. Nothing changes in this mad world...
Citeh will be out to get us tonight. The question lingers as to whether or not Pellegrini will field his best team with the imminent visit of Barcelona. Arguably the more interesting question is what will Mourinho do. Will he play a full strength squad with our Champions League tie a week and a half away? Will he give a full debut to Salah? Will Torres start? Does he employ the same tactics as before? Once bitten, twice shy and the City players, if they have any sense, will be repeating this to themselves before kick-off.
But these acute questions are not the reason I'm writing this piece. Brace yourself, FA Cup romanticists. The burning question on my mind is, with our current league position and squad quality, do we really need to win this?
'How dare you attempt to subvert an age-old tradition that was being contested before your Dad was even thought of and which underpins the very core of that which we call football' I hear you cry. And with good reason. My ill-advised foray into the contentious void between our wants and needs is one which I do not take lightly. But hear this.
We, as previously stated, currently sit atop the Premier League despite our slip up against West Brom in the week. This title race has all the makings of a classic [despite Liverpool's presence] and it will inevitably come down to the wire. We have a good squad, no more. We've got a chronic lack of quality in the striker department, a midfield which hinges on the fitness of Ramires and Matic and a minor injury crisis in the centre of defence.
We need our top players firing on all cylinders when push comes to shove in April and May. We've already beaten City this season [Twice] so what do we have to prove? Ok, so it'd be sweet to do them again. But we've already done it where it really matters which renders this game somewhat academic.
Let City come, I say. The FA Cup will always reserve a special place in the hearts of Chelsea boys, I know that. Its been kind to us which has pulled the rose-tinted spectacles over many a Blue eye. But City will be desperate to avenge their, frankly pathetic, loss in the final last year and I don't think we need the added pressure of a quarter/semi final etc. It drains the players and the closer to the final we get, the better team we will field. Let them drain their vast resources.
If we have serious ambitions in the League and CL then we need to prioritise. That's just my view.
As ever, I want to hear what the VC community think and so am opening this up for ardent debate over the next three hours before kick-off. Do you think we should gun for the FA Cup or prioritise competitions which arguably hold greater significance for both Chelsea and the wider footballing world?
Up the Blues!
Date:Saturday February 15 2014
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